"Turkish Protesters in Istanbul" by Maurice Flesier / CC BY-SA 4.0

Turkish activists oppose amnesties for child rapists

Jan 24, 2020

By Bethan McKernan

Turkey’s ruling party has begun a second attempt at introducing a law to grant rapists amnesty as long as they marry their victim, four years after a similar bill sparked outrage at home and internationally.

The legislation, which was first debated by parliament on 16 January, would give men suspended sentences for child sex offences if the two parties get married and the age difference between them is less than 10 years.

Opposition parties and women’s rights groups have been quick to point out that the bill in effect legitimises child marriage and statutory rape in a country where the legal age of consent is 18.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s conservative Justice and Development party (AKP) has said the proposal is designed to deal with Turkey’s widespread child marriage problem.

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